Electrical Switches: Learn About the Common Kinds

Posted on Feb 21 2018 - 4:36am by Expert-Zine

Young girl using the switchOne of the most basic electrical devices in the home is the wall switch. Although they might all appear the same when fitted onto the wall, they function differently.

You also operate them differently — you might have to use a toggle, push button, slider, or even a rocker. Note, though, that the styles have no impact on the function of the switch.

When building a home, it is vital that you have some information on the various kinds of switches so you can make a good decision when it comes to buying them. You will also need to consult with a residential electrician in Wellington.

The most common and basic switch is a single-pole switch, which controls light or whatever device from one location. It usually has an ON and OFF marking. Besides the single-pole switch, other household switches include:

The double-pole switch

This switch also has ON and OFF labels, and, much like the single-pole switch, it controls equipment from a single location. It has four hot terminals made of brass and a ground wiring. You can connect it to four 240-volt hot wires.

These switches are commonly 30 amp-rated and can control appliances that need high power.

The three-way switch

Always used in pairs, this switch allows you to control the receptacle from two places. It has no ON and OFF markings because the functions change with use. The switch has three screw terminals. A hot wire connects from the source of power to the common screw, and the other two are interchangeable.

The four-way switch

Used with three-way switches, this switch provides control for a fixture from more than three locations. It looks a lot like a double switch pole but has no markings. In addition to the four terminals, it has a ground and no common terminal. It works as a switch for three-way switch traveller wires.

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Whether it is by foot, lever, limit, or a pull- or push-button control, switches will work differently to achieve the same purpose — control. Always be sure to contact an electrician to install switches and if they malfunction.